Twenty years ago, a husband promised his wife two things: that he would buy her a house and take her to see an aurora.
This stunning home in the New Territories is the result of the first of those promises – and with the abode’s attractive glass-topped open kitchen and generous outdoor area, it allows the couple to stargaze nightly in preparation for the time when he takes her to see a real aurora. This is the romantic tale behind the genesis of this impressive countryside abode in Hong Kong’s Tai Po district. And Eric Fung, chief designer at EF Design, is the creative brains behind its final realisation.
I used earth tones and made use of wood in different elements to create a natural and calming space.
“The homeowners wanted a simple, stylish design and to preserve a flavour of nature to match the surroundings,” says Fung. “I used earth tones and made use of wood in different elements to create a natural and calming space.” This was complemented by the use of a mix of black and white tones in the fixtures and furniture, which when combined with the organic materials deliver a stylish, peaceful home.
Nature and the greenery of the great outdoors is never far away, not only by virtue of the rural surroundings of the house but also through the lifestyle of its inhabitants, a family of four. To reflect this, many of the furnishings which Fung chose are made with naturally occurring materials such as wood and marble in order to create a harmony within.
Nods to nature were also made to please the husband who has a passion for outdoor sports including cycling. He is fond of kick-boxing, too, and Fung converted the car park into a gym with a punching bag and space in which he can store his bicycles.
The heart of the home is the expansive living, dining and kitchen area with its striking roof. “The glass-topped open kitchen allows a lot of natural light into the house, along with the stargazing at night. It could become an oven in summer, but to deal with that I installed an electric awning on top of the glass top and two hanging fans,” says Fung. “I also made use of the natural light from the kitchen and lead it to the living room by placing a sliding glass partition between them.”
The expert use and extension of natural light, which allows this space to feel brighter and breezier, doesn’t end there. Fung also added a sunroof in the bathroom. “Basically, the whole house makes use of glass partitions and sunroofs to allow natural light in, which also corresponds to the natural design,” says Fung. Minor structural changes helped with this, too, as Fung substituted walls with glass partitions to enhance the natural light, and make the 1,300-square-foot home feel larger while also bringing the outside in.
Overall, Fung describes the house as having a Scandinavian feel, in keeping with the homeowner’s desire for a style that was natural and comfortable. Combined with the physical structure of the house, including the skylight-topped open kitchen and living area, and the elegant outdoor patio and garden, this minimalist design helps to maximize the natural beauty within and around.
This story was originally published in our July 2018 issue as “Force of Nature.” For more inspiring masculine homes, pick up a print or digital copy, on newsstands now.
Photography: Edgar Tapan
Art Direction: May Lau
Production: Emily Leung